Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Yorke Finds a Future Star Yorke Finds a Belter; Apprentice Jockey Schmidt Has All the Attributes of a Star

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Yorke Finds a Future Star Yorke Finds a Belter; Apprentice Jockey Schmidt Has All the Attributes of a Star

Article excerpt

Byline: racing reporter sport@dailyexaminer.com.au

SINCE the days of Fire Oak winning the Victoria Derby in the 1990s, Gordon Yorke has always managed to find numerous equine gallopers of above-average ability.

More recently, the New Zealand-born, Coffs Harbour-based horseman reckons he has found another future star, this time in the two-legged variety.

His praise of 21-year-old Gold Coast apprentice Priscilla Schmidt, after the pair combined for a winning double at Grafton yesterday, left little doubt about Yorke's sentiments.

aShe's got hands of silk,a Yorke said of the lass, the daughter of former top jockey Dwayne Schmidt. aShe's a freak rider. Wait until she comes out of her time (apprenticeship).

aYou'll see an even better jockey.

aShe listens, has got a good brain, is balanced, confident and better-looking than the old man,a he joked.

Schmidt had just ridden promising staying mare Little Pumpkin to victory in the Coffs Coast Prestige Hcp (2108m).

The following race Schmidt, the granddaughter of experienced trainer Glen Hodge, came to the fore again, winning astride Mooltan in the WHK Maiden (1100m).

Schmidt, indentured to her father, has ridden 46 winners since starting her career in December 2009.

aI just want to keep improving, winning as many races as I can,a Schmidt said. aI'm doing a lot of travelling but that's okay, it's all experience. Everything is going good.a

Many young apprentices look good on free-running, up-front horses. Schmidt is developing aplomb and skill at judging pace and timing, prerequisites of all top riders.

The a[approximately]L Plates' are still visible at times, but sculpturing any work of art takes time.

Her judgement in bringing Little Pumpkin ($2.60) with a late finish underpinned her rising talent. The pair also won an 1850m event at Newcastle on January 11.

aThis horse has just improved with Priscilla,a Yorke said. aShe settles for her.

aThe mare came from Toowoomba. She's only little but out of a Zabeel mare.

aI was always confident she would eventually stay. I just changed a few things around. …

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